Field application of phenol formaldehyde gel in oil reservoir matrix for water shut-off purposes

R. Banerjee, B. Ghosh, K. Khilar, F. Boukadi, A. Bemani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A few wells from a major western India on-shore oil field are either on the verge of being shut in or have already been abandoned due to excessive water-cut (WCT) levels. Low injectivity and extreme temperatures (149°C) make it difficult for water shut-off by conventional polymer gel injection. A water-thin monomer-based in situ gelation system has been developed and successfully tried in one of the wells that ceased production due to 100% WCT. The average production of 420 barrel of oil per day (BOPD) with less than 1% WCT, in the first year of production back in 1996, has declined to less than 8 BOPD (with 98% WCT) prior to shut-in in year 2002. A rise in the oil-water contact level in combination with a coning effect was diagnosed as a possible cause of the high WCT, which was later controlled by a newly developed gelant treatment. In fact, the average post-treatment production for the first 3 months was nearly 200 BOPD. Thereafter, production gradually stabilized in the neighborhood of 115 BOPD with a WCT of 48%. Cheap chemicals and a fast treatment method have resulted in a payback time span of 5 days and made an additional profit of U.S. $0.6 M. The water shut-off job resulted in an impressive commercial success; technical success, however, was less than satisfactory due to the fact that, in spite of using a water-thin monomeric solution, only 40% of the designed volume could be injected due to low injectivity resulting in an abnormal pressure build-up. In addition to the gel development and treatment experiences, this article describes in detail the results of further lab investigations carried out to identify the possible reasons causing injection failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1779-1787
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization and Environmental Effects
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Field application
  • Gel
  • Oil reservoir
  • Phenol formaldehyde
  • Water shut-off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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